The Golden Road To Unlimited Procrastination

Stereogum | November 14, 2006 - 2:21 pm

Hope you’re not busy for the next couple of days. We hadn’t been to Wolfgang’s Vault in awhile, but thanks to RS, we discovered Wolfgang’s behemoth concert archive, 300 shows deep with streams from performances by everyone from The Beach Boys in ’71 (after Brian’s performing days), to Clapton in ’76, to The Cure in ’84 (how good does Robert Smith sound?!), to Jimi Hendrix (in ’68). And so many more you could choke.

Worth checking is a recording from Elton John at Fillmore West in SF in ’70, before he was a household name, but ready to take over with his trademark vox, and piano comps and chops. He sounds young and Disney free! Also, listen to this set from Stevie Wonder in his prime at Winterland in SF (“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” rocks) and remember why he’s hailed as the genius he is. And, of course, there’s lots and lots of Grateful Dead.

But a funny highlight comes from this show at Kezar Stadium in SF 3/23/75, featuring Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and backed by members of The Stray Gators and The Band. It’s a loose and relaxed performance — so much so that Dylan took a little liberty with one refrain: “Knockin’ On Dragon’s Door.”

“Dragon’s Door”? WTF? Whaddaya suppose he was talking about? Or better yet, whaddaya suppose inspired that improv? Remember, it was 1975.

UPDATE: And it just gets better! Wolfgang’s Vault plans to update the archive with five new shows a week. That’s one for each weekday. Just give up; you’re never getting that TPS report filed.